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For the second time in a row, Evanston has been designated a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.
The award recognizes a community’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through “investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure, and pro-bicycling policies,” said the League.
Evanston was first named to the silver award level in 2012, for a period of four years. Only 404 communities nationwide won designation in this year’s honor roll, which were announced in mid-November.
Fifteen Illinois communities were so honored, with Urbana the only gold winner and Evanston and Chicago the only silver designees. Aurora, DeKalb, and Schaumburg were among 12 bronze recipients. Highland Park and Glen Ellyn were among the new honorable mentions.
The City issued a press release noting a number of recent bike-friendly initiatives, including starting the Divvy Bike Share program in July; launching Pedal Bright in October to install 1,200 lights on participating bikes; implementing the Dodge Avenue protected bike lane; and partnering with Northwestern to launch a Bicycle Signage Pilot Program at four locations around town.
In addition, Northwestern was recognized at the silver award level as a Bicycle Friendly University for the first time, in part for planning a two-way protected bike lane on the east side of Sheridan Road in 2017. Later this year, the University announced, it will be providing free helmets to all students, staff, and faculty who register their bikes.
“The League’s renewal of Evanston’s Bicycle Friendly Community status speaks to the efforts of community members to foster and develop a culture of using healthy, active modes of transportation to travel to work and school, and explore the many dining and entertainment establishments within our Community,” said Katherine Knapp, the City’s Transportation and Mobility Coordinator. “We are honored to be recognized by the League and will continue to use the Bicycle Friendly Community program as a road map to improving infrastructure investments, educational opportunities, and engagement activities.”